How can you build a successful ethical fashion line while making profit?

Charlie Bradley Ross Monday, 7 February 2022

There is a paradox when it comes to sustainable fashion. Often it can feel like in order to avert the climate crisis, we must avoid capitalist business structures. In certain respects this rings true; what we see from fast fashion brands is an oligarchy of greed, with little to no regard for people or planet where hands and materials for the products originate. However, there are ways to positively support communities across the world through a business' revenue, without relying on the swift and thoughtless consumption patterns we are used to. For instance, social enterprises will embed all profits back into the business to allow for a thriving and scalable operation. But what if you don't class yourself as a social business, and are in fact, simply a fashion brand, making a beautiful product, with the aim of minimising negative impact? Well this is where our specialised six-week sales course can help you. Read on to learn more.


While The Sustainable Fashion Collective offers so much incredible information and guidance, we wanted a way to offer you a little more: someone to walk you step-by-step through the time-consuming, scary bits, like analysing your competitors, or sales and marketing strategising. Someone to hold you accountable, so you actually make time to sit down and put your plans into action.

Step in our six-week course, starting 28th February 2022 and 11th April 2022.

"How To Build A Successful Fashion Line: Strategy, Sales & Profit"

We have created an easy-to-digest course designed to kick you into gear, with a focus on all-important sales. Over the six weeks, we will show you how to develop your business plan, help you create a marketing strategy, and provide the steps necessary to get your product into your dream stores - all ingredients to build a thriving business, and all integrally through the lens of sustainability and responsible business practices, with access to Professional Membership of The Sustainable Fashion Collective included in the course price.

  • All content is provided online, with self-led modules and a final catch up session
  • You can attend a weekly live call, at 5pm GMT/BST each week [9am PST (LA), 12pm EST (New York), 5pm GMT/BST (London), 6pm CET (Paris), 4am AEDT (Sydney, the following day)]
  • Price: £297 no hidden costs (£197 if you happen to be a Professional Member already)
  • There is also a dedicated Slack channel to remind you of required work, provide you with direct lines to your peers, and inspire you with handy resources

So, what do you need in order to build a successful ethical fashion line?

These are our top steps, which all revolve around putting in the work to understand who and what your business is, and when you should be obtaining feedback:

  • a financially sustainable business model
  • a clear idea of your target audience
  • an understanding of what makes a set of winning designs
  • feedback on your designs
  • a step-by-step sales strategy, with accompanying line sheets
  • a concise marketing plan ready to put into action

Your Unique Selling Point

Who is your target audience? How do you figure out a product or service that is unique to you while addressing a problem? Your USP forms the foundation of your brand story; this is so important, not just when you're first starting out, but throughout the life of your business.

Your Competitors

Easily overlooked, competitive analysis is one of the most critical steps of your business. You need to equip yourself with the efficient tools to research and identify your competitors' weaknesses - and understand how to turn these into your opportunities.

Your Collection

Understanding the solution that your fashion line hopes to solve is key to keep in mind when designing; you do not want to design too little or too many options - a balanced range plan is required. But what is an optimal line for the fashion category you aim to exist in? e.g. if you are a swimwear brand, how many swimswuits, bikinis and trunks do you actually need, and how many colourways?

[Unsure how to even design a collection? We show you how in this Masterclass - The Design Process: From Design To Product - led by design consultancy James Hillman]

Your Sales Process

Now you’ve got your unique designs; it’s time to make those all-important sales. You need to identify the stores you want to sell to, channels you want to sell on, and then recognise those winning techniques for getting in front of buyers to physically get your product on their shelves (or marketplaces).

Marketing Your Product

Marketing strategies could feel complex if you do not have experience in this arena, but you need to put the effort in to understand them, otherwise, how will you be effective in getting visibility for your products - and then keep them in demand? Not all businesses use the same strategy, as they are dependent on your specific business model, product or service and size.

[For additional case studies, check out the Masterclasses - Where and How To Sell: Getting Started and Going It Alone and Wholesale, Agents and Online Marketplaces]

Reflection

It is important and valuable to take the time, at least twice a year to reflect on your goals, action plan and progress. What goals are important to you, and how will you achieve them? Who will hold you accountable, and how? How will you move forward if a goal is not reached?

[Eager to set your goals? Become a Professional Member, or join the course, to dive into the Goal Setting & Planning Workbook]

Ready to hold yourself accountable?

Learn more and register your interest for the course here. You have until midnight February 25th to register for the first set of students, and April 8th for the second set of students.

The course will give you:

  1. Accountability - starting a business is often something that we put off. We will help you combat this by keeping you accountable weekly. You will finish the six weeks and have made huge strides, and (so long as you have put the work in) you will have laid the foundations to launch your business and grow sales.
  2. Reassurance - If you are worried your business idea will not work or cannot understand why your existing business isn't converting to sales, we will give you our no-nonsense opinions and help you restructure.
  3. Knowledge - No one knows everything. What's certain is that with our two experts' breadth of experience, you will leave with more understanding than you started with.
  4. Challenge - You may like the idea of challenging yourself to get started in six weeks. And we're not afraid to gently and respectfully challenge you either! We are keen to show participants different perspectives, tips, and tricks so that you can move forward and find a better, more successful way to work.

>> Register here <<

You will also receive Professional Membership, which will give you access to the rest of our resources from when you register for the course to the final week (10th April/22nd May). Our recent Masterclasses are the perfect introduction to allow you to get your head in the game:

How To Make Your Fashion Business More Sustainable

How To Source Ethical Fabrics